Well, I am very ignorant. I don't think I have read any of his books and never heard of him before. But clearly, he is a very successful professional writer, with a teeny bit of unfinished business with himself.
He's telling the truth about the nature of the beast. Are you an artist, or is this about prestige, and money, in which case this writing lark is a business like selling cornflakes, so get with the programme.
Two very different beasts even though they may end up in the same place. Did Emily Bronte know Wuthering Heights would be a mega mammoth best seller? No. She was DRIVEN. On the other hand, Charlotte made a big effort to get the book into print. Pen names, cabs down to London. Or it would never have seen the light of day.
The last line is pure poetry.
This nice chap doth protest a little much much. He may be an artist. I don't know till I read one of his books. But he does care about razzmatazz at least a bit, or he wouldn't be using up his valuable time and energy sitting there telling people the things he figured out for himself. He'd be at home writing, and leaving everyone else to get on with their own writing, and let them figure it out the same way he says he did.
The terrible truth in my observation, and based on people I have known, writers, poets and painters, true artists aren't clubbable. Too jealous of their time and space and energy. They serve the Muse, and guard that space like a dog with a bone. And by and large don't give two hoots what other writers - or painters -are doing
They do them. You do you.
How did he get that Men In Black thing? A dinner. Networking. He is a business person OK, and that doesn't mean he's not a damn good writer. But he seems haunted deep down by this idea that maybe he isn't an artist.
And maybe an artist is a terrible thing to be when you consider the personal stories of almost any really great artist you can name.
A great price is exacted of them. The Muse demands its dues. An artist is a mighty tricky hen that lays duds or golden eggs or duds again, and no one expects them to be easy people to deal with.